Redefining the Member Community
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Traditionally most sports clubs have focused on providing great facilities and playing opportunities for their traditional paid-up members. These members are the heart of the club and in most cases the source of committee members and volunteers. The recent shift to a ‘pay to play’ society has meant it is now increasingly important to widen this view from the traditional ‘member’ to a ‘member community’ to encompass those that also benefit and feel some sort of association with your club.
As an example your membership community may include:
casual players who book courts using Pay2Play,
visitors who play with a member and pay a visitor’s fee,
Business House players who enjoy your organised competition but are not club members,
parents of children who are members, and
adults and children who receive coaching at your club, but are not members.
What does the mean for your club?
This type of casualisation of clubs is both a threat and an opportunity. The obvious threat is players may be happy with casual play opportunities and not join your club. The opportunity is the income for your facility these members provide, as well as being a valuable source of potential new members. We need to minimise the threat by offering great playing opportunities and creating real value to entice conversion to full membership, while also making the most of the opportunities presented by your wider member community.
The team at Pay2Play are continually searching for innovative ways to capture the benefits of casual play. A recent feature is the option of adding a Casual Membership type, which enables the player to ‘join’ your club and receive a unique door access code, however the code is only active when they have booked and payed a court fee. This category also provides Clubs with the opportunity to create custom pricing to help improve venue use, such as a reduced rate for off-peak times where court usage is low.
This half-way zone between guest and member provides Clubs with the opportunity to get casual users on the path towards full membership. By ‘joining’ as a Casual Member, their details will be held on the clubs membership database, enabling casual members to receive regular communication of club activities such as coaching sessions, tournaments, social events and other benefits of full membership.
Parents of children who are members are also an opportunity for casual membership. Some clubs are offering deals where parents can play with their member children for free, but pay casually if they want to play with non-member friends. This can all be easily managed through Pay2Play as the children are able to book courts for free as members, and the parents set-up as casual members who pay a booking fee if they book the court for use with another non-member. Because Pay2Play is so flexible, each club can determine the membership options that will suit their unique operation.